Perspectives from stakeholders on the food-energy-water nexus in metropolitan Seattle
Gaolach, Bradley W. (Bradley Wayne), 1967-
Moffett, Kevin B.
Brady, Michael P.
Collins, Douglas P.
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Food, energy, and water (FEW) are deeply intertwined in modern agricultural production, consumption, and management. Policies aimed at increasing local food production and consumption are likely to affect all three FEW sectors as well as the practical and economic relations of producers and consumers to those sectors. This publication synthesizes interview data collected in the summer of 2016 to provide a snapshot of the thoughts of food producers, major agricultural commodity buyers, and policy-makers on topics related to food, agriculture, land-use planning, and energy and water resources around an urban setting. We found that connections between water and food production were well understood by northwestern Washington stakeholders, whereas connections between energy and food and water and energy were less understood or discussed. Many interviewees expressed a desire to work toward improved coordination and collaboration across agencies and organizations, to set goals for sustainable food production in the region, and to address institutional barriers to meeting those goals. Two competing, but not mutually exclusive, visions for a more sustainable regional food system emerged from interviewees: a sharp urban-agricultural boundary vision and a mixed urban-agricultural boundary model. These two models often are at odds with actions of key local agencies. Additionally, it was not clear if a strong, local desire for local food would enhance or exacerbate future food, energy, and water resources.